The Palestinian Authority/PLO continues its march toward a UN General Assembly vote on Palestinian statehood. At the least, the Palestinians’ status may be elevated from that of a “non-state entity” observer to a “non-member state” observer.
This development may have very negative consequences. For one thing, the text of the resolution itself may become a problem in future negotiations. If the resolution, for example, declares that the borders of “Palestine” are those of the Jordanian-controlled West Bank as of June 3, 1967 (plus Gaza), negotiating territorial compromises may become even more difficult for Palestinian leaders. How can they give away a part of what the United Nations General Assembly has said is “Palestine?”
It is also possible that violence may result from the UN vote. If the Palestinians decide to begin very large demonstrations (one example: having thousands of protesters surround isolated settlements), no one can be sure whether the Palestinian and Israeli police will in the end be able to control such confrontations without any violence—from Palestinians, settlers, or the police themselves. Even the new head of the Arab League now has his doubts: “The unilateral appeal to the U.N. Security Council and U.N. General Assembly could be a very dangerous move for the Palestinians during this period and I propose that Abbas reconsider the handling of the matter,” said Nabil El Araby.
And American legislators have already predicted that if the PLO goes forward with its plans, Congress will cut off aid to the Palestinian Authority. This assistance is in the hundreds of millions of dollars and will not be easily replaced, for European donors are tapped out and Arab donors are stingy.
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